University of Nebraska Press

Most historians credit the Army of the Potomac with a clear advantage over the Army of Northern Virginia in the use and effectiveness of field artillery. Despite this, the great majority of unit studies at Gettysburg focus on the infantry. Thomas Nank addresses this shortage with his study of Capt. James Thompson's Independent Battery C, Pennsylvania Light Artillery which, consolidated with Battery F, fought through the chaos of the Peach Orchard on July 2. Our second tactical study focuses on another major action, but from a new perspective. There have been many articles published on the July 2 Confederate assault on Cemetery Hill, but few on the defense of the Union center by the Eleventh Corps. James Pula addresses this with not only an account of the military action but an analysis of the actual strengths and weaknesses of the position and the prevailing belief that the rebels were able to force a major breakthrough.

From the tactical we move to the strategic with an analysis of Gen. George Gordon Meade's decision making following the repulse of Pickett's Charge. Thomas J. Ryan and Richard R. Schaus examine the controversial pursuit of Lee's retreating army not only from the standpoints of the condition of Meade's army and his management of the pursuit, but also his attempts, and those of General-in- Chief Henry W. Halleck, to enlist the support of other Union commands in a position to intervene. This adds depth to our understanding of the complexity of the task facing Meade in the days following July 3 and the many facets of "the chase," both within and outside his control.

Shifting to another general, Mitchell G. Klingenberg tackles the challenging, much- debated mythology surrounding Maj. Gen. John Fulton Reynolds's activities and ultimate death on July 1. From Michael Shaara's portrayal of Reynolds's arrival on the field in The Killer Angels to the source of the musket ball that ended his life, Klingenberg examines eyewitness testimony to develop a portrait that is often quite different than popular tradition.

With tens of thousands of men being wounded and maimed over a brief seventy- two- hour period, medical attention was crucial to the survival of the victims both North and South. Much of the necessary healing treatment was not given by regularly commissioned medical personnel but by contract surgeons. Colin Hirth considers these essential doctors through an examination of several case studies, explaining in the process not only their contributions on the field but also the processes and procedures followed in recruiting this essential group.

Next, Michael D. Pierson presents a real rarity, observations on the Gettysburg Campaign from the diary of an African- American woman, Emilie Davis. A native Pennsylvanian who had been born free in 1839, most likely in Lancaster or its immediate vicinity, her comments add a new dimension to Gettysburg studies.

Leon Reed plunges into the topic of monuments and their use in interpreting historical events. Focusing on some of the First Corps memorials erected by veterans, he explains how each presents a story the survivors wished to preserve about their experiences on that deadly field. Finally, picking up on his same theme, Sonny Fulks dedicates his "If You Want To Go" column to his own thoughts on the contemporary debate over historical monuments and their role at Gettysburg.

We encourage our readers to submit their own research to Gettysburg Magazine, along with any comments or suggestions they might have. [End Page 1]

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